Saturday, December 05, 2015

Mid 2000's Las Vegas Strip Video

I stumbled upon this somewhat old video of Las Vegas showing scenery from the Strip back when Planet Hollywood was still Aladdin and when Stardust and Westward Ho were still open.

I'm guessing the footage is from 2005 or earlier (Westward Ho closed late 2005). It's pretty impressive to have HD footage from back then, since HD was a relatively new concept at that time.

Friday, December 04, 2015

California Renovation Planned

California Hotel and Casino in downtown Las Vegas announced a multi-million-dollar redesign and renovation plan yesterday.

The public areas will be improved first, "with distinctive elements include bright, brilliant metallic finishes, luxe textures like alpine white granite, and a dark, rich wood finish to accent molding throughout the casino."

That will be followed by "a complete redesign and upgrade of nearly 500 hotel rooms and suites, as well as additional food and beverage projects."

The Cal is one of the most under-the-radar casinos in Las Vegas. The location a block off Fremont Street on Ogden Ave puts it out of sight out of mind for most casual downtown travelers. The hotel is able to thrive on its unique business model of selling vacation packages to Hawaiian travelers.

I'm guessing these renovations will be a welcomed improvement to the property.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Stratosphere Take Vegas Back Campaign

The Stratosphere's Take Vegas Back ad campaign is almost a year old, but I haven't had a chance to blog about it.

The premise is that Las Vegas has become too expensive and the Stratosphere is the place to be if you want to get a good value, touting it as a resort for the every man.

With rising hotel rates and added resort fees, the campaign might be more relevant than ever.

I'm wondering if the advertisement might be slightly hypocritical though, since the Stratosphere itself has resort fees, along with not-so-great gaming odds (from what I've heard).

Hypocrisy aside it's nice to see a casino try something new to gain customers, and the message decrying high Vegas prices will certainly resonate with a lot of people.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Sheldon Adelson Republican Debate

The next Republican debate will take place on December 15, 2015 at the Venetian.

This will be the second debate of the year held in Las Vegas. One of the Democratic debates took place at Wynn Las Vegas in October.

Las Vegas will also host the final Presidential debate next year at Thomas and Mack Center on the UNLV campus.

Aside from these debates being held in Las Vegas, it's also been in the news lately that Las Vegas Sands CEO and Venetian owner Sheldon Adelson will be deciding soon which Republican candidate to support.

Adelson is famous for his gigantic campaign contributions, so it's being seen as a major advantage for the candidate who manages to gain his support.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

November 2015 Las Vegas Stock Recap

With the calendar now showing December 2015, let's take a look back and see how Las Vegas stocks did in the month of November.

After a blazing hot October for Las Vegas stocks, they came back down to earth a little bit in November.

Caesars Entertainment was the only stock finishing up in November, inching up a little over 5% after soaring over 36% in October.

MGM Resorts International and Boyd Gaming were relatively flat in October, both declining slightly.

Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands both were both down a little over 10% in November after both had a strong October. Some issues in Macau continue to weigh on these two operators.

Penn National was down almost 11% in November, after having the weakest performance of all the Las Vegas stocks in October. I'm guessing their master lease accounting issues could have hurt their stock price recently.


Monday, November 30, 2015

October 2015 Revenue and Visitation Numbers

October 2015 Las Vegas Gaming Revenue and Visitor Statistics have been released.

Las Vegas visitation was up again in October increasing +5.6% year over year. This translated into citywide occupancy up +3.7% with average room rates and revenue per available room increasing significantly (+11.7% and +16.3% respectively). Total room nights occupied were up +3.3%. October was a another strong month for convention attendance, which was up +12.6%.

Downtown continued its winning streak with strong occupancy (+7.7%), average daily rate (+11.1%), and revenue per available room (+21.7%) all trending upwards.

Air traffic was also up again in October, increasing +6.4% year over year.

Gaming revenue on the Strip was down -5.12%. Slots were flat while table games were down -10.22%. It seems as if gamblers were lucky in October as table game win percentages were lower than normal.

Downtown had a slow gaming month, down -6.5% overall. Weakness in slot machines (-12.43%) offset strength in table games (+7.21%) in October.

The up and down Las Vegas locals market was down this time, as the Boulder Strip was -6.55% in October while North Las Vegas was -3.96% year over year.

In conclusion, October was a really strong month for Las Vegas visitation, while gaming numbers were a little disappointing in part because of lower hold. The weak gaming numbers seem to reflect the fact that people are gambling less in Las Vegas, but it's kind of hard to tell with high end play and hold percentages skewing the numbers so much.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Casinos Test Drink Ticket System

A few months ago news spread that Mirage was testing a drink voucher system at one of their video poker bars.

Instead of the bartender giving free drinks while you are playing, you would have to "earn" the drink by playing a certain amount that would trigger your machine to print out a drink voucher.

Now several message boards are discussing a similar drink voucher system being installed at Cosmopolitan at their Bond bar.

I'm hoping this trend won't continue and that these experiments with drink vouchers at video poker bars won't prove to be successful. I really don't see how having a system like this is going to save the casino that much money.

Sure, some people like to take advantage by putting a $20 in and getting a few free drinks by slow playing the machine, but I think bartenders are pretty good at making sure people are actually playing before comping them.

While a drink ticket system is certainly annoying to players, it's not completely unheard of in Las Vegas as most sportsbooks around town have implemented a similar policy for better or worse.